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A Century ago Nijinsky started his gradual eclipse from Fame to Insanity

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posted on May, 19 2017 @ 09:15 PM
The peace of God to all that belong to the Light
Dear Readers

In 1916 after years of to be confined in an exile forced by the WWI, in Hungary, treated as a war prisioner due to his Russian citizenship, although being married with a Magyar wife, Vaslav Nijinsky is rescue by the impresario that made him so famous, Sergei Diaghilev, to join to his new tour of the Ballet Russes starting in New York.

It took since 1914 in long and extremely hard negotiations in which many prominent members of the Royal houses of Europe, specially with the help of Queen Alexandra of Denmark, serving as mediators to convince the Hungarian government that Nijinsky was not an enemy spy, but an artist that was being victim of the horrible international circumstances of the moment, in order that they facilitate this free transit to Switzerland with his baby daughter and his wife.

They crossed Austria with the special permit granted as war refugees, until reach a neutral territory.

Those were so stressful months in which the genius that had debuted with so much success in Paris by 1913 with his performance in the choreographies of Mikhail Fokin, like L'Spectre de la Rose, Petrushka , Scheherazade, Chopiniana, Polovtsian dances and Swan lake, was unable really to train, no theater or forum, just what he could do every morning in the back yard of their house in Budapest.

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le Spectre de la Rose

Nijinsky passed two of the most promising years of his dancer career isolated of the great public of Ballet for an European conflict that was going to destroy in terrible way his fatherland and the cultural world be came from in St Petersburg.

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There were no news from his old class mates or teachers at the Marinsky Ballet or the Vaganova dance a academy, as well as really few information of his brother and mother, lost in the turmoil first of the continental war and gradually also behind the night of the Revolution.

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le Sacre de Pritemps

His return to America in that last season with Diaghilev was of course very demanding, there was a lot of expectation from his fans in each city. The tour was exhausting in all aspects, tbe public also wanted to see Nijinsky Choreographies that became scandalous famous in Europe, like L' apres midi d'un Faune, or l'Sacre pritemps, and Jeux, but Diaghilev decided to use a more conservative repertoir, so excluded them in favor of the classics or Fokin previous hits.

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l' apres midi d'un Faune

Although he and his old manager tried to repair the damage caused by the rupture of their partnership motivated by the surprising decision of Vaslav to marry Romola de Pulsky in Buenos Aires at the very end of a South American season in 1913, the relationship was never the same.

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Jeux ballet

By September of 1917 he gave his last performances in Argentina, the same country where his personal tragedy had began three years before, and the people although enthusiastic noticed at some point that he needed to make a tremendous effort to perform at a minimum of acceptable quality the same ballets he was a monster in the past.

However, there was something he retained until the end of his stage career, his incredible balloon, his ability to jump in so high and eternal parabolas that defied the law of gravity, and his great acting skills.

Scheherazade Ballet

He was already entering in the shadows of the schizophrenia in which he became trapped, dreaming for years in his own personal universe of mystical fantasies, where he was going to spend two more decades recluded in a mental asylum in Switzerland.

His beloved wife was who took care of the child since then and for those twenty years in an Incredible act of the most unselfish love worked in tours around the world promoting her best seller books of the Life of Nijinsky, which sales supported the family and the cost of the treatment of Vaslav.

In 1939 the Nininsky's family also became trapped again in a continent in war, but in that occasion they were forced to remain along it entirely in Switzerland.

Romola requested a humanitarian visa to the American Embassy, but it was denied, under the reason that the insanity of her husband made them immigrants in high risk of need state support to survive.

That was the sad way America returned to Nijinsky the glory and impulse he gave to the history of Ballet in this land of opportunities.

Three modern nations dispute the honor of to be considered his fatherland, Poland as the original country of his parents, Ukraine that was his birth place and Russia that formed him as the greatest star of Ballet of his generation and perhaps of History.

As an epilogue of this story let me finish saying that Vaslav Nijinsky recovered his sane mind after 1940 until his death in 1950 , thanks to the invention of a new therapy that was the first one developed really effective to cure his dementia, the insulin shock.

After his recovery from schizophrenia Nijinsky worked that last decade of life teaching younger dancers and advising choreographers that were trying to recreate his legendary ballets.

Thanks for your attention, the thread is open to remember this legend of the History of the performing Arts, who In justice is considered as the father of the modern dance, and the archetype of the highest standards for the male Ballet dancer until our days.

His story and Romola's is also a profile of courage of the capacity of superation that exist in the human spirit with respect to the adversity, and the strength of true love

Nijinsky name is used for the highest award that Poland grants to creative performing Artists and has been considered for the Orthodox and Catholic churches as a possible candidacy for beatification.

The Angel of Lightness
edit on 5/19/2017 by The angel of light because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 20 2017 @ 08:36 AM
In 1999 Joan Accocella in her Article "The secrets of Nijinsky" published the New York Review revealed interesting details of the way the career of Niijinsky unfolded in Russia, as well as, the beginning of the relationship that was going to mark his life for good and for bad with the Art Entrepreuner Sergei Diaghilev.

It is clear there is a deep root cause in Nijinsky tragedy in the abusive social costums of a society where the sexualization and marketization in Art circles created vicious circles of exploitation of human beings and trading of personal benefits for influences traffic even to promote careers of outstanding talents.

In those days in Russia, as in Western Europe, there was a heavy sexual trade in ballet dancers. Some dancers actually accepted fees from interested ballet patrons for making introductions. In 1907 one such dancer introduced Nijinsky to the thirty-year-old Prince Pavel Lvov, a wealthy sports enthusiast, and Nijinsky entered upon what was probably his first sexual relationship, with the blessing of his mother, who, though she discouraged his heterosexual interests—she felt that marriage would impede his career—was proud to see her son with so fine a figure as Prince Lvov, and was also grateful for Lvov’s financial help. (The Nijinskys had very little money.) But Lvov soon tired of Nijinsky and began introducing him to others, including, in 1908, Sergei Pavlovitch Diaghilev.

At that time Ballet dancers of both genders were traded as sexual slaves by a decadent branch of the Russian nobility that were living in a sort of playboy existence in a society with terrible polarization in between the extremely rich and powerful people and the misery of lack of opportunities of the masses of poor peasant and worker classes.

Art had been the monopoly of this nobility traditionally for centuries and there was an emergent class of business art dealers that were coming from a professional middle class trying to change that reality by creating companies to open a national and International market for the Art of the Russian Empire. That was the origin of Sergei Diaghilev, who was a lawyer.

Having brought Western art to Russia, Diaghilev then began bringing Russian art to the West, using Paris as his base. There, in 1906, he presented a lavish exhibition of Russian painting and sculpture; in 1907, a series of concerts of Russian music, most of it unknown to Europeans of that period; in 1908, a triumphant production, the first in the West, of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, starring Feodor Chaliapin.

For 1909 Diaghilev was planning to bring to Paris not just Russian opera but ballet as well. Prince Lvov, Nijinsky writes in his diary, “forced me to be unfaithful to him with Diaghilev because he thought that Diaghilev would be useful to me. I was introduced to Diaghilev by telephone.” He went around to the hotel where Diaghilev was staying, and was bedded, and presumably hired, the same day.

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The secrets of Nijinsky

The Angel of Lightness

edit on 5/20/2017 by The angel of light because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 20 2017 @ 01:17 PM

In 1976 the Legendary prima ballerina of the ballets Russes Mrs Tamara Karsavina gave the following unique interview to Sir Anton Dolin, also dancer of Diaghilev and choreographer of various famous dance companies around the world, like the American Ballet Theater, in which she talked about her experience being the ballet partner is Vaslav Nijinsky in that first season un Paris in 1910.

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Dancing Giselle with Nijinsky

Also from Madame Karsavina survive this other interview in which she talked about the Premier in Paris of Les Sylphides happened at June 2nd 1909 that she danced with Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky.

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About premier of les Sylphides in June 2nd 1909


The Angel of Lightness

edit on 5/20/2017 by The angel of light because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 21 2017 @ 08:16 AM
Dear Readers,

The thing that , besides the terrible amorous triangle in which Nijinsky fell and that then he was unable to solve with his marriage with Romola trying to recover the freedom that he lost when he came into the hands of Diaghilev, was the drastic change of Life he suffered from being a celebrity and to found himself converted in an anonymous war refugee.

He learnt that what he considered was the love of his public was really a mirage created by the marketing of the entertaining industry and that he was just a piece of a monstruous machine of making money, where there was no space for artists without capital.

To be fired with out mercy by a man that he felt was more than just a boss or a lover, but his mentor, who was his paternal figure at some point was extremy hurting for his fragile psychology.

He escaped in 1913 from a suffocating relationship at the price of to see his career destroyed. Diaghilev had taken good care to assure that his previous links with the Marinsky theater were totally broken for ever to have absolute control over him.

Nijinsky tried unsuccessfully to ran his own company in between 1914 and 1915 by taking large loans since his inability to perform in all the required management duties became a tremendous obstacle.

Many years later in 1929 Diaghilev himself recognized with remorse in his death bed confession that he was extremely responsible for his selfishness of the complete breakdown of his most famous star.

The brilliant art impresario that discover and employed talents like Stravinsky, Picasso, Bhakst, Fokine, Matisse, Pavlova, Karsavina Chaliapin being able to survive WWI was unable to move anymore the Ballet Russes through the first stage of the great economic depression by the end of 1920s, he died in bankrupcy in Venice, Italy.

The Angel of Lightness
edit on 5/21/2017 by The angel of light because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 21 2017 @ 01:39 PM
a reply to:
Diaghilev had taken good care to assure that his previous links with the Marinsky theater were totally broken for ever to have absolute control over him.

The angel of lightness

Nijinsky partnership with Tamara Karsavina, also of the Mariinsky Theatre, was legendary, and they have been called the "most exemplary artists of the time".

Then, Nijinsky went back to the Mariinsky Theatre, but was dismissed for appearing on-stage during a performance as Albrecht in Giselle wearing tights without the modesty trunks, obligatory for male dancers in the company. 

This is the way today is done by all male dancers, but for the strict Victorian conservative moral standards that prevailed in the time in Russian Ballet theaters it was inadmissible, although that was pretty welcome by Paris public in France.

The Dowager Empress, Maria Feodorovna, complained that his appearance was obscene, and he was dismissed.

It is probable that the scandal was arranged by Diaghilev, in order that Nijinsky could be free to appear with his company in the west, where many of his projects now centered around him.

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Ironically many years later in a vacation season that the Nijinskys took in Budapest from their confinement of Switzerland, after he was cured from his maladie, by 1942 they were surprised by the arrival of the red army to the city in their fight against the third Reich.

The Soviet soldiers became excited when they found Vaslav house, since by the time he was already a Legend in Russia, and his name linked for ever to the Marinsky Ballet, thwn renamed as Kirov by the Revolution.

The Soviet commandant was decided to repatriate Vaslav to the USSR but it was the exhaustive proceedings of Romola in the British Consulate what allow them to escape just in Time to London.

Here a historic interview arranged for TV by bus daughters Kyra and Tamara Nijinsky.

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Kyra & Tamara Nijinsky Interview

The Angel of Lightness
edit on 5/21/2017 by The angel of light because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 22 2017 @ 11:18 AM
Dear Readers,

About a third of the biographers of Nijinsky blame the so dominant Sergei Diaghilev for the nervious breakdown that led him into madness, another third blames the opportunistic Romola Pulsky for it, but there is another third that found the root cause of his sorrowful mental decay in the terrible stress that represented to him a so challenging project:

The rite of the Spring

To be able to choreograph the so complicated music of The Rite of the Spring composed by Igor Stravinsky in Switzerland along 1911 and 1912, that many consider was the greatest contribution, the Master work of the Russian Musician, was a so challenging task for any choreographer in the world, but to do so with the few creative experience Vaslav had was a nightmare.

Vaslav pressed by the economic circumstances of the company carried out such a monstruos project in just a season of work, along exhausting sessions of entire days without stopping, all days of each week in between composing and training dancers.

The result of this giant work was a new cannon of dance that marked the definitive break with the classic Ballet tradition and the beginning of the modern dance.

Nijinsky work for our standards was admirable and incredible creative, no less revolutionary than the partiture of Stravinsky but it was decades ahead of that epoch, and in the premier of May 29th of 1913 became a social and cultural scandal.

The so negative reception by the public and critics caused a so strong distress to Nijinsky, Stravinsky as well as for Diaghilev.

Here a film documentary movie about this event:
The riot at the Rite

The Angel of Lightness

edit on 5/22/2017 by The angel of light because: (no reason given)

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